Yesterday was National Smile Day. I'm known for smiling a lot. I've been finding it harder to smile lately. I know I'm not alone. But there are ways to bring it back.

Many Minnesotans, along with people from all over the country and across the globe, have been finding it harder to find things to make us smile. As you know, there have been many things that have contributed to that. It seems this year has been one big s#%! Storm.

The political divide that had been happening on leading up to 2020 started the year off on a sour note. Then COVID-19 dropped on everyone like a ton of bricks and forced a lot of people to be stuck in their homes. It kept families from seeing each other. And when they could, there were no hugs, and it was through glass. Many also lost loved ones.

The coronavirus pandemic also caused businesses to close down, which forced many of them out of business and led to millions of people finding themselves out of work.

And if that is not enough (which is too much anyway), add the tensions from this past week, it's not surprising why it may be challenging finding ways smile. But I need to you -- there are things to smile.

Now is the time when we have to find that smile. If not to help others, to help ourselves. To keep us from falling into that abyss of hopelessness. We need to hang on to hope now more than ever. And that's where I'll start when it comes to finding something that makes me smile.

Hope: When I hear stories of kindness and light coming out of the darkness of violence and racism -- when I see people helping others, that gives me hope -- and that makes me smile.

Family: Watching my son graduate from high school, despite having no ceremony, makes me smile -- proudly. Hearing my daughter laughing and being her goofy self (and still calling me 'daddy' sometimes) makes me smile. Having my wife walk up to me and give me a long hug makes me smile.

Home: Home meaning, moving back home to Minnesota. I had been away for more than a decade. Now I'm only 45 minutes from my mother, and I got to see her for the That makes me smile.

Golf: I took up golf this year. Not that I haven't been golfing before, just not regularly. I've made it a goal to golf a lot more. (4x so far this year). Golfing makes me smile.

Those are just a few things. I just have to keep thinking of those things and the other things that make me smile. What makes you smile. We asked, and here's what some Central Minnesotans said:

 

"My granddaughter... - Deanne L

Deanne Laine

Beautiful flowers - Alli S

Allison

Sunrise - Brandy K

Brandy Kostreba

I call her Little 💩, my husband calls her Little Grey. She’s around 8 months & a snuggle bug (also one of many farm cats) - Lynette E

Lynette Eder

My dog Norman, and kayaking! - Abbey

Abbey Minke

This kid graduating made me smile. - David

David Black

 

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